Thursday, 12 November 2009

records of House of Commons debate

The Hansard record of the adjournment debate on “The Application of the Sex Discrimination Legislation to Religious Organisations” is now available, starting here.

TheyWorkForYou version is now also available here.

Video of the debate is available at BBC Democracy Live, over here.


Riazat Butt has written a report, now on the Guardian website, The church of England: above the law?

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Thursday, 12 November 2009 at 8:24am GMT | TrackBack
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Categorised as: Church of England | equality legislation

"Robert Key: I suppose that it is another case of one rule for the Indians and another for the chiefs."

Not the most appropriate remark with which to open a debate on discrimination and equality.

Posted by: Laurence C. on Thursday, 12 November 2009 at 11:27am GMT

"The debate on this legislation – when it comes to parliament – should not be about disestablishment nor whether parliament should involve itself in religious affairs. It is about, as Key himself said, whether the two houses should endorse something that is illegal. A law is being broken when women bishops will be subject to discrimination because of their gender and it is up to parliament to intervene."
- Riazat Butt -

The lack-lustre outcome of this 'adjournment debate' on issues of discrimination which took place in the House of Commons should not blind us to the facts that both Houses of Parliament will be asked, eventually, to decide whether there should be any discrimination against the powers of episcopacy to be given to female bishops in the Church of England.

As Riazat Butt reminds us here, to attempt to allow such discriminatory practice would not be in accordance with the law, as it now stands. For the Church of England to insist otherwise would be to deeply discredit its presentation of the ethics of justice - as practised by the Church.

However, seeing how the House of Lords (with the assistance of certain member-Bishops) has already overturned a House of Commons decision to outlaw anti-gay discrimination in the public sphere, how will the house of Commons be able to oppose any further discrimination against women in the Church?

Posted by: Father Ron Smith on Friday, 13 November 2009 at 8:22am GMT
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